This month in media

This is another new idea of mine. I've been reading and watching a lot of things recently (the perks of being sick) and I wanted to do a little post to summarise them all up and share my recommendations.
Let me know in the comments what you've been reading / listening to / watching this month!

Books (image)

The Secret History by Donna Tartt - I actually preferred this book to the critically acclaimed The Goldfinch; perhaps because of subject matter (a groups of Classics student at a New England college), which seemed slightly more relevant to me than the characters in The Goldfinch. Not sure yet if that's a good or a bad thing! Probably one of the best books I've read this year.

Decline and Fall and Scoop by Evelyn Waugh - currently in an Evelyn Waugh fan-girl stage, Decline and Fall was a random charity shop purchase and was worth every penny. I raced through the book in a matter of hours and it genuinely made made laugh out loud once or twice. (I'm sure the French family I was staying with thought I was a bit weird.) I didn't enjoy Scoop quite as much, but it was good nonetheless.

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin - yes, I'm still working my way through this series. But I did manage to finish two instalments in just under two weeks, so I'm pretty pleased.

Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola - this is one of my set texts for uni this year and I have to admit that I didn't think I would like it quite so much. I've read one of Zola's books in translation (Germinal) and it was a bit of a struggle, even in English; but I found this novel much more interesting and engaging. It's a fascinating study of humans and the lengths they will go to to achieve their desires.

Films (image)

The Grand Budapest Hotel - my parents didn't like this film, but I really enjoyed it. I loved the unusual cinematography and Ralph Fiennes' quirky character - not to mention the star-studded cast. (Doesn't Jude Law just have the most perfect voice?)

Paddington - another family film, I'd forgotten how much I liked this charming rework of the traditional stories. We used to read the books when we were little, so this was like a trip down memory lane, only with better graphics. The animation is incredible.

Young Victoria - not quite what I was expecting; but then I'm so used to seeing Queen Victoria portrayed as a plump, grumpy old woman that this was a refreshing change. A really lovely film that made me feel more sympathetic towards Victoria and her dear husband, Albert. (I haven't been watching the latest BBC series so can't compare the two! Though apparently Jenna Coleman watched this film before taking on the role.)

Amélie - I wasn't really keen on this film. Yes, it's a classic, but I didn't warm to the central character, which for me is pretty key. There were some funny moments, but to be honest I just didn't enjoy it that much.

The Great British Bake Off  - need I say more? Quite possibly my favourite TV show of all time. Not sure how I feel about it moving to Channel 4, though...

Community - this was recommended to me because I needed a series to binge watch when I was ill. Now I would recommend it to you, too! Light, funny, with loveable characters.

Hunted - I wonder if you've ever dreamed of running away and going off-grid? It seems that it's much harder than it used to be, particularly with the help of CCTV and IT whizzes. Channel 4 has created a fast-paced, exciting show that has taken the boredom out of several evenings.

Music (image)

Rebekah Fitch - Rebekah has just released her first two singles; see if you can't stop yourself from singing along!

Rivers and Robots - I met this band back in June at Moira's Big Weekend and since then have been listening to their albums All Things New on repeat. It's quite a relaxing album that is the perfect accompaniment for going to sleep, reading the Bible or having a wee doze, encouraging prayerful worship and thankfulness.

Izzy Bizu - a recent discovery of mine, her songs are refreshingly new and quite good for when you're working.